Kingston City Council approved a recommendation from city staff that the YMCA of Eastern Ontario will manage the fitness centre at the new Kingston East Community Centre, at their Oct. 19 meeting.
“Based on consultation with numerous stakeholders, the city is taking a community and service hub approach to improve recreational and community gathering spaces,” said Lacricia Turner, Director, Recreation & Leisure Services with the City of Kingston. “The majority of programs at this new facility will be delivered through community partnerships like this one with the YMCA. With its expertise in running multi-functional fitness spaces and programming, the Y is a good fit to operate the centre.”
The YMCA is a charitable organization with deep roots in Kingston where it has operated for more than 160 years. According to a release from the organization, they provide programs and services to improve health and health outcomes, develop leaders, help build social connections and provide safe, inclusive spaces for people of all ages.
“The Y has a long and service-oriented history in Canada, where we have stepped in to fill diverse community needs,” said Rob Adams, CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario. “During the pandemic, we have strengthened local partnerships, offering Y programming to a number of municipalities in Eastern Ontario.”
The partnership between the Y and the city will allow residents with opportunities to access both city and YMCA facilities and programs, according to the release.
“From a Y perspective, we are ensuring our relevancy by staying current with what is needed. Our approach has been to connect with our communities to see where we can be of most help,” Adams said. “We have expanded program and service delivery in collaboration with a number of municipalities, which has been very successful. While we evaluate the need for improved infrastructure for the Y, this agreement with the City of Kingston will provide residents with more options and is in keeping with the Y mission to build stronger communities.”
The YMCA said that draft programming schedules are under development in anticipation of the early 2022 facility opening.